Flint, MI— Mayor Sheldon Neeley is calling on the Secretary of State for help after City Clerk Inez Brown announced her retirement at a Sept. 7, 2022, Flint City Council meeting.

The news of Brown’s retirement comes at the heels of the November 2022 general election which includes races for Flint mayor and Flint Community Schools Board of Education.

“I want you all to know how much I appreciate the fact that I’ve had this opportunity to work for my hometown,” Brown said during the Sept. 7 meeting. “[On] September 30th, I will officially retire after 25 years of service.”

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown sits to the right of Flint City Councilman Eric Mays during a Flint City Council meeting on Nov. 22, 2021, at City Hall. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Under the city’s charter, the City Clerk serves as the chief election official for Flint, said City Attorney William Kim. Without an automatic transfer of authority to the deputy clerk, he noted that the City Council can appoint an individual to serve the remainder of Brown’s term. The City Clerk is a position appointed by the City Council, and the next term will begin on January 1, 2023. 

At a Sept. 8 press conference, Neeley praised Brown for her work over the years.

“We thank her for her years of service, dedication and commitment to this community,” Neeley said. “We can’t say enough about the great work that she has performed over her career.” 

In the meantime, Neeley said the city has been engaging in ongoing discussions with the office of the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to ensure a smooth and fair election process.

“My administrative office was taken by surprise,” he continued. “I had no foreknowledge of this occurring this soon. But we stand prepared. We stand ready and we stand also in support of the clerk’s decision.” 

Among various issues on the upcoming ballot, Neeley is up against former mayor Dr. Karen Weaver — a rematch of the 2019 general election and 15 candidates are running for five out of seven seats for the Board of Education. 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...